Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, both in your personal life and at work. While it’s easy to see how it affects personal relationships, we often don’t consider the importance of workplace communication.
Building a team that trusts and communicates with one another doesn’t happen automatically. In a typical office setting, the primary focus is on the business at hand, not on building personal relationships between employees. However, it is this bond that creates positive office culture. This positive office culture allows a business to operate smoothly, encourages swift resolution of conflicts, and fosters increased productivity. An engaged workforce is at the heart of positive office culture, and this engagement often relies on the personal relationships your staff develops with their coworkers.
Over the course of a typical workweek, the demands of your business and individual workloads may mean that your employees have fewer opportunities to connect on a personal level. While one might argue that the purpose of the workplace is to work and not to socialize, it is the relationships between coworkers that often drive the success of a business.
Fostering personal relationships between employees, then, is critical if you want a positive office culture. One way to do this is to plan activities that take place outside of the office. These types of events give employees a way to reduce workday stress and enjoy each other’s company. Getting out of the workplace setting can help coworkers learn others’ personalities, create a sense of unity, and establish better workplace communication.
Developing relationships outside of the office creates a stronger bond between co-workers. That might sound like a “feel-good” goal, but such bonds benefit the business in the long term. Bonds built outside of the office setting translate into stronger bonds within the office, ultimately motivating team members to work productively toward a common goal. In fact, a single one-day team-building event can improve time management and communication by up to 62%.
Planning Your Outing
It might feel counterproductive to host an out-of-office event during the workweek. The workload at many businesses often requires the full attention of their staff during business hours. Setting that focus aside requires careful planning. Still, stepping away from the workday grind can boost productivity.
There’s nothing like a little company-sanctioned fun to help build camaraderie among staff members. When planning your outing:
- Consider your team and their personalities. What do they like and dislike? Would they appreciate physical activities over mental activities? The more personalized your outing is to your employees, the more meaningful it will be.
- Think about your goals for this event. Do you want to build relationships among team members? Would they benefit from collaboration and problem-solving events? Do you simply want to show them appreciation for their hard work?
- Coordinate your event with your staff in mind. Some employees may have other responsibilities outside of work that can make an after-hours event impossible for them to attend. Others may have limited ability to set aside their duties during working hours.
- Be realistic. A single out-of-office event likely won’t solidify your staff into a close-knit work community, but it can plant the seed for improved working relationships. Learning more about one another can increase your team’s trust in and reliance on each other.
A Change of Scenery
Just like a vacation can reset one’s perspective, a change from the ordinary at work can stimulate the brain. No matter what type of team-building event you plan, taking your staff out of their day-to-day routine can be incredibly effective. This “change of scenery” can:
- Improve communication
- Get rid of negative energy and cynicism
- Enhance relationships and collaboration
- Build camaraderie
- Increase employee motivation
- Promote creativity
Building relationships through workplace communication allows employees to view their work through a personal lens, which can provide a greater sense of ownership and accountability. These factors can help create a positive office environment and improve productivity, which in turn can make a business more successful.